Random Thoughts

Debate, Debacle, Debt, Defaults and Doomsday

By now most informed Americans know that America is the world's largest debtor nation. The better informed ones know how idiotic are the statements of Cheney, O'Neill etc., that deficits don't matter as shown by Reagan. Republican tax cuts, galloping defense spending, initiated by Reagan and continued by both Bushes. They all have ballooned the deficits to half to one trillion dollars every year with no end in sight and continued increases. The new president will have to face the problem and curtail spending before US government debt is downgraded to junk. The Chinese, Japanese, South Koreans, Taiwanese and Russians have warned us already and are reducing their exposure to US debt and currency.

The first presidential debate was obfuscating smoke and mirrors by both candidates making promises that cannot be kept (Obama) or would worsen the fiscal situation (McCain). Obama talks of universal healthcare, child care, tax cuts for 95% of Americans, affordable education, infrastructure improvement, job retraining and such good policies, without any sensible answer where the money will come from. McCain wanting to shove under the rug his sordid history of the Keating savings and loan fiasco and his campaign's obscene association with lobbyists, harps on earmarks cut of 18 billion dollars per year and freezing all programs while enacting 300 billion dollar annual tax cuts for his rich contributors. Both candidates take cuts in defense spending (which is mostly wasteful and unnecessary) off the table. To justify this bonanza to their military contractor supporters they take an unjustified belligerent attitude towards Russia and Iran.

They both lied by labeling Russia as the primary aggressor in Georgia, when Georgia's Sakaashvilli initiated the conflict probably with America's goading and definitely with America and Israel's training and logistical support. Both candidates overlook the US attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan, expansion of NATO, coups in Ukraine, Georgia, Kirghyzstan, ABMs in Poland and the Czech Republic and the independence of Kosovo without the approval of the United Nations.

Obama admits that the Iraq War was a mistake but continues to fund it and wants to widen the war to Pakistan and Iran. McCain wants to widen it against Iran. While hardly anyone in the world rejoices at the covert attempt by Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, similar transgressions by Pakistan in the past, and Israel all along, are never discussed.

By what authority is the US the sole decider who should have nuclear weapons, when it and the five permanent UN Security Council members are themselves in violation of the NPT for failure to abolish their own nuclear arsenals? There is no way to improve America's fiscal problems, economy, competitiveness or infrastructure without severely reducing military spending, entitlements and rationing Medicare and Medicaid and having a single payer non-profit health system..

The total lack of adequate regulation by the SEC, Federal Reserve, Office of housing, Congress and the President with their rabid free market mania, the greed and stupidity of home mortgage and equity borrowers, mortgage and bank lenders, investment bank securitizers, rating agencies and domestic and foreign investors have caused the debacle of write downs, freezing of credit, lack of trust in US institutions and their equity and debt, just like before with Tyco, Enron, World Com, Health South etc.

The corrupt, foolish, stupid and lying Bush administration now wants to suspend the mark to market accounting rues devised by the FASB and gut Sarbanes Oxley to allow the corporate crooks to scam the public once again. They also want to convert goodwill (often imagined and of doubtful value in most cases) into a tangible asset for mandated capital asset ratio requirement for financial institutions. They and the Democrats have used these scams before in pension accounting by allowing false (nearly impossible) actuarial assumptions to permit severe under-funding of corporate employee pension plans which are dumped into the public lap of the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, after the executives have departed with obscenely rich golden parachutes and declared bankruptcy for the company (United Airlines, Bethlehem Steel etc.).

The House and Senate will bail out Paulson's buddies and theirs and Bush, Obama and McCain's campaign contributors while mouthing platitudes about saving the ordinary taxpayers' jobs and non-existent or paltry pension plans. Unfortunately it is the coming election that worries the elected scum bags and that is why they are lying while in reality selling the citizens into generations of indentured status and penury. The stock market will rise for a short time and then it and the dollar will tank and more money (Five trillion dollars) will have to be spent from the public exchequer to restart the economy and that also on a lower scale. Eventually the US will default on its national debt like Russia and Argentina, as oil prices go through the sky. Much of suburbia and exurbia will be abandoned by a public unable to afford the commute and heating bills. Imports and American wages will fall till manufacturing returns to America because it will be cheaper than China. Vegetables, fruits and meat will have to be grown and raised locally as transport over long distances in refrigerated trucks with high gas prices will make it unaffordable to large segments of the population. The gouging fees of educational institutions will make college unaffordable to most and will make America less competitive. The Republicans and the Clinton Democrats have made the US a pauper, a laughing stock of the world and made criminal Mao's epithet of being a paper tiger come true.   


More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD

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